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The Stationmaster Says Goodbye to Steam at Henley-On-Thames

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And now Henley on Thames has the most overcrowed train in the UK- time for more infrastructure and an enhanced service hopefully!

 

XF

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The signalling is interesting, Mike. When were the colour lights installed and were they controlled from a panel in the signal box? I notice that they are all plated HY.

How long did the loco hauled trains continue? I assume that the branch was rationalised sometime later in the 1960s and the loco hauleds replaced by dmus. Oh for a time when you could travel home from work being hauled by a 'Castle' or a Hymek for that matter!

 

David

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The signalling is interesting, Mike. When were the colour lights installed and were they controlled from a panel in the signal box? I notice that they are all plated HY.

How long did the loco hauled trains continue? I assume that the branch was rationalised sometime later in the 1960s and the loco hauleds replaced by dmus. Oh for a time when you could travel home from work being hauled by a 'Castle' or a Hymek for that matter!

 

David

Henley was chosen to be a test bed for an experimental electronic interlocking - handy for the S&T HQ at reading and the branch was being singled anyway so in 1961 the signalbox acquired a standard WR Integra NX panel which was used to set routes in the usual way but mechanical point operation was retained (presumably to save money) with the lever frame greatly shortened.  The electronic circuitry was purpose built from discrete components and after a few months seems to have settled down to work quite well - the colour light signals of course came as part of that installation and replaced semaphores which were not even 10 years old!

 

The through Londons finally went over to Inter-City dmus after they were transferred from Canton to Reading - I'm not sure of the exact year but that was very late 1960s I think.  Track rationalisation occurred in various stages reducing gradually to just two platform lines in use and the layout in that form went onto Reading panel in 1972; the second platform went later - I presume when the station was rebuilt to its present form and the extended car park added.  Control of the Henley branch is now in the hands of the Thames Valley Signalling Centre at Didcot.

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I saw there was several days of class 37 haulage along there in the early 90s , according to one of the logs on the class 37 loco group.

 

never heard anything about it elsewhere

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I saw there was several days of class 37 haulage along there in the early 90s , according to one of the logs on the class 37 loco group.

 

never heard anything about it elsewhere

There was a 'return to steam' thingy in the early '90s (or thereabouts) using - of all things - an Ivatt 'small' 2-6-0 and the train was top & tailed of course as the run rounds at both ends were long gone.  I've an idea the 'tail' (or 'top' depending which way it was going of course) might well have been a Class 37 but I'm not certain.  And there have been engineering trains in more recent years as well although the last one of those I saw on the branch had a 28XX 2-8-0 on it.

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could well be, I can't remember the reg I was searching for now.

 

I had a cab ride down there in the DMU in about 81 or 82. Even Henley had more atmosphere / appeal then than my home station of Marlow with it's depressing leylandii...

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Two great new Thames Valley threads from 'The SM' in one fell swoop, Mike you are spoiling us ;)

 

Everything in these photographs looks so 'modelable' and typically GWR / WR to boot..... wonderful!

 

More of the same please!

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Two great new Thames Valley threads from 'The SM' in one fell swoop, Mike you are spoiling us https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif

 

Everything in these photographs looks so 'modelable' and typically GWR / WR to boot..... wonderful!

 

More of the same please!

I think I might well be cranking up the scanner later today all being well Nidge - sorry but there'll be some more thousands and even sorrier that a brand new D1502 might put in an appearance as well (but at Newcastle, not on the Western although a few shots at Canton might compensate?).

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Bring 'em on Mike - you fire up the scanner and I'll pull up an armchair... ;-)

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Great photos, Mike. The penultimate one - like (if not the same) the one used in Paul Karau's book to me has such pathos to it, especially when combined with the intro to that book IIRC.

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Great photos, Mike. The penultimate one - like (if not the same) the one used in Paul Karau's book to me has such pathos to it, especially when combined with the intro to that book IIRC.

I'm not sure if it was mine in the book or - but more likely the one taken by the chap standing next to me (Pat Moffat) who was using 120 film and a decent camera instead of my 35mm set-up (with a very cheap camera).

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More Henley branch - the arrival of the Hymeks, and a little surprise - will follow when I get a chance to post them (they're all scanned ready).

 

Hymeks. Green Hymeks. Swoon.

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There was a 'return to steam' thingy in the early '90s (or thereabouts) using - of all things - an Ivatt 'small' 2-6-0 and the train was top & tailed of course as the run rounds at both ends were long gone.  I've an idea the 'tail' (or 'top' depending which way it was going of course) might well have been a Class 37 but I'm not certain.  And there have been engineering trains in more recent years as well although the last one of those I saw on the branch had a 28XX 2-8-0 on it.

 

As it happens it was! 37411. Oh really Colin? How do you know? Well, I was there! 1st November 1992. First shot at Twyford, the 37 is near Twyford, and the third shot is at Henley. I have a few more but didn't want to overdo it.

 

post-12721-0-48026600-1358287177_thumb.jpg

 

post-12721-0-76761100-1358287193_thumb.jpg

 

post-12721-0-59185600-1358287218_thumb.jpg

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ah ha ! there it is - 411 was what I was researching as a Scottish machine moved to BZ

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Hopefully additions will to this thread will take place this evening - assuming I manage to survive 'Les Mis' this afternoon.   More green Hymeks.

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No one has mentioned the cleanliness of the locos.....Paintwork wiped down but not polished. Glad to see these pics Stationmaster.

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No one has mentioned the cleanliness of the locos.....Paintwork wiped down but not polished. Glad to see these pics Stationmaster.

A very good point Coach.  Reading seem - at least in the last few years - to have put out a 'Castle' regularly for one train and a 'Hall' for the other and what seemed to happen was that the same engine then stayed on the turn for months on end, presumably with washouts taking place over a weekend.  While this got rather boring with little variety the opposite side of the coin was that the 'Hall' was usually their latest one off works and was kept up nicely until the next one returned from works and took over - I can remember at one time wondering if any engine other than 7919 would ever work the second Down train, it was on it for months (so I never took a picture of it of course).

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Thanks for posting these fascinating pictures.

 

I notice that the locos did not appear to have been turned at Henley. Was there a turntable there - either at that time or in earlier years?

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I notice that the locos did not appear to have been turned at Henley. Was there a turntable there - either at that time or in earlier years?

There was a TT at Henley in earlier days but I am not sure when it was removed. Not sure it would have been big enough to turn big locos like Castle as it was only 55' IIRC. I can't remember if that was big enough to turn a Hall.

 

On the old RMWeb, there was mention of a Britannia once visiting Henley but no evidence to back it up. I wonder if this story can be confirmed or refuted now?

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There was a TT at Henley in earlier days but I am not sure when it was removed. Not sure it would have been big enough to turn big locos like Castle as it was only 55' IIRC. I can't remember if that was big enough to turn a Hall.

My recollection from the book; turntable could accomodate up to a Star but not quite a Castle (the first time it was tried it was found to be too long and they had to put brake on the tender and have loco push against it to reduce gap between the two, took a lot of messing around.) Turntable fell into disuse (1930s?) and engines were turned at Reading. Turntable may have been cracked too?

Edited by The Great Bear

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Great set of photos Mike, thanks as ever for sharing.

 

Regards,

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Wonderful shots Mike... and look how tidy everything is! Any idea which crews worked the loco hauled Londons... Old Oak or Reading men...?

 

Would it be ok to link these over on the Old Oak facebook page, I'm sure there'll be some folk on there who will remember those jobs...?

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